Eat Clean Be Lean 2016: Results and a Sneak Peak into *NEW* Programme Features for ECBL 7.0 – Coming this Spring! by Coach Kortney

 In Blog, Dublin

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Eat Clean Be Lean 2016 members anxiously awaiting the kick-off WOD!

As most of you know this year’s first session of Eat Clean Be Lean successfully wrapped up over the weekend. With 36 participants marking the largest ECBL group to date, Perpetua members took on this popular nutrition and lifestyle challenge with a dedication and fervor unmatched by previous sessions. In its SIXTH iteration, this version of ECBL delivered the most flexible and approachable guidelines to date, leaving members with a toolbox of realistic and sustainable habits to continue beyond the 30 days of the challenge. As an ever evolving programme, this time around included the option to participate on a level with ZERO imposed food restrictions and limitations (of course, junk food and alcohol are discouraged, but not expressly prohibited by any draconian ‘rules’). Most people were able to appreciate the freedom to set their own healthy parameters, eating in accordance to their own specific personal goals – whether that included performance, fat loss, muscle gains, or simply eating for general health and wellness. So far, these favorable adjustments to the programme guidelines seem to have resonated well with participants,  as yet again, the measured results in performance and body composition changes were EXCELLENT!

Our traditional ECBL benchmark ‘Cindy’ was retired this year in favour of ‘Christine’ to change things up a bit. Members tackled the 3 rounds for time of 500m row, 12 deadlifts, 21 box jumps with excellent performance improvements across the board. I need to shout out to Patricia Mannering as most improved as she knocked over THREE minutes off her time! I’m no statistics buff, but isn’t that like a 20% performance improvement? In only 30 days? Regardless the math, it’s an impressive accomplishment! On average, members improved their scores by 1:26.

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Tackling the initial benchmark ‘Christine’ – getting the year off to a good start!

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Before and After scores – what a difference 30 days of healthier habits can make!

Of course, fitness and strength gains are only one of the many benefits participants experienced. Plenty of folks also had good results in body composition changes. Members who opted to have their body composition measured at the start and finish of the programme saw favourable improvements across the board. Niamh Balmforth lost 11 pounds (5 kg) in the challenge, which was an aggressive 5% body fat loss – pushing the very extreme upper limits for sustainable and healthy weight loss. With minimal lean tissue loss coupled with this massive loss, it’s overall a big WIN! The average, and more typical, body fat loss for participants who availed of body measurements was 2.0%, which is a good, healthy rate of progress overall! This averages out to about 4.4 pounds (2 kg) of fat loss per person, or a healthy rate of about 1 pound a week. Members on the GAINZ train also saw steady progress. Those specifically targeting lean mass gains saw increases ranging from +1.1 pounds (0.5 kg) up to a massive +4.6 pound (2.1 kg) increase in lean body mass – and in most cases this was also coupled with a slight decrease in body fat.

As the programme progressed there were weekly winners selected from members who stayed on top of their accountability with the daily e-questionnaire check-ins. Emma Gray, Cillian Bredin, Anna Klaile, and Ciaran O’HUallachain each won various healthy prizes from the Power Station with Ciaran winning the most awesome prize of all: free entry into our Friday Night Lights CrossFit Open competition!  The challenge culminated in the overall grand prize winner – and winner of 100 euro of cash prize money – going to Niamh Balmforth. Niamh never missed a single daily points submission, and finished off with an impressive score of 269 points out of a possible 300 points. Scoring is based on 10 possible points each day – with criteria ranging from diet and exercise habits to sleep and general self-care and positive mental health practices.

Along with the positive physical benefits, general nutrition education is a big part of the programme. As Jenny stated, “This is my 6th time doing Kortney’s Eat Clean Challenge. I learn something new every time I do it. I felt much stronger after the 30 days and was delighted with my repeat score in Christine. The challenge really helps make you aware of how simple it is to adapt healthy changes into your lifestyle.”

Emma Gray, one of Perpetua’s exceptional athletes, also had great feedback: “I would 100% recommend participating in the ECBL programme. The 4 weeks is a great opportunity to improve your nutritional knowledge and create good habits that fit into your own lifestyle. At the end of the 4 weeks I was delighted with the body comp and performance improvements I made and plan to carry on the lessons learnt into the future.”

And even an old timer, Daragh O Murchu, chimed in with some good feedback about his experience, “I am delighted with all I learnt during this past 5 weeks. The fat loss was a bonus! I’m pretty confident that I have developed new habits and kicked a lot of the old bad ones. Only took me 6 years to cop on to the fact that you can’t out-train a bad diet 😂 who knew eh 💪”

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Fitter and stronger, members wrapping up the final benchmark WOD retest!

Overall this was an exceptional round of Eat Clean Be Lean, and I’m running with the momentum created to bring new ideas and an even BETTER experience for the next session of ECBL. Mark your calendars for mid-April through mid-May for ECBL 7.0! Here’s a sneak peak of just a few of the *NEW* programme enhancements coming this spring:   

  • *NEW* 6 Week Programme Format: Instead of the usual 30 days, now there will be more time to deliver even GREATER results!
  • *NEW* Mid-Session Check-in: As life starts to get in the way, this mid-session progress check and group WOD will help reignite motivation and ensure you’re on the right track towards your goals.
  • *NEW* Weekly Bonus Challenges: With 2 additional weeks there will be 2 new challenges!
  • *NEW* Advanced Level: Includes an additional educational meeting to learn how to calculate and track your own specific macronutrients for more experienced dieters with very focused body composition or performance goals. This option will be reserved for previous ECBL participants who have mastered the basics and are interested in fine tuning the details of their diets. (10 euro supplement)

Of course implementing dietary changes and healthy lifestyle habits doesn’t have to wait until ECBL is offered! Keep working towards your goals and if anyone is interested in one-on-one coaching please don’t hesitate to ask your coach for help and personal guidance or feel free to contact me for more information or bespoke nutrition programming: kortney@crossfitperpetua.com

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